Root Canal

If you are experiencing pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, and swollen gums, you may be suffering from an infected tooth.

Dr. Mike Meek and Dr. David Tasch in Austin, TX can provide relief through gentle, precise root canal therapy.

Once the infection has been treated, we can place a lifelike dental crown to repair your tooth and restore natural aesthetics and function.

Understanding the Root Canals What You Should Know About the Anatomy of Your Teeth

Diorama of a tooth with a root canal infection

"Root canal" is commonly used to refer to the treatment of an infected tooth, but it more accurately describes the anatomy of a tooth. Let's go over what the root canals are and what dentists and endodontists mean when they say "root canal infection."

What Are the Root Canals?

Beneath the enamel and dentin layers of a tooth is a chamber filled with pulp. This dental pulp is comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The root canals (also known as pulp canals) lead from the pulp chamber into the jawbone.

What Is a Root Canal Infection?

A root canal infection occurs when bacteria reaches the dental pulp and spreads through the root canals. Bacteria can reach the inside of a tooth due to untreated cavities or oral trauma that leads to a major chip or crack in a tooth.

How Root Canal Treatment Works

Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that involves the removal of diseased pulp from an infected tooth and the sterilization of the pulp chamber and root canals. The pulp chamber is then filled with an inert material called gutta-percha. Lastly, a dental restoration such as a crown is used to cap the tooth and protect it from further harm.

Why You Should Seek Immediate Root Canal Treatment

Besides easing pain, early root canal treatment can prevent bacteria from spreading beyond the pulp chamber and root canals into the jawbone and bloodstream. In addition to preventing the spread of bacteria through the body, a root canal can also save the affected tooth from extraction.

Root Canal model

​Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?


Many patients are under the impression that root canal therapy is painful. However, it is typically a straightforward process that causes no more discomfort than a filling. Additionally, we offer sedation dentistry to help patients relax during treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection? Here Are the Problems Endodontic Care Can Treat

Cavities and dental trauma can cause the soft tissues within your tooth to become infected and inflamed. When this damaged pulp is left untreated, it can lead to significant discomfort as well as other serious health concerns. Symptoms can include:

Man holding jaw in pain

Extreme Discomfort

When infection develops, you may notice a rapid onset of acute pain. While a toothache alone does not directly indicate root canal treatment is necessary, it is important to have an evaluation immediately.

Swollen Gums

As the soft tissues in your mouth become more irritated and inflamed, your gums may appear red, discolored, and swollen.

Drainage or Pus

The appearance of pus around the gum line can occur when there is an abscess present. Some patients develop a fistula, or “gum boil” that will allow the infection to drain.

Bad Taste or Odor

Active discharge of pus from an abscess can cause a bad taste in the mouth. This symptom, with or without bad breath, can indicate a root canal infection.

Think You Have a Root Canal Infection? Contact Our Austin Dental Practice for Help

If you notice pain, swelling, an abscess, or other symptoms of a dental infection, schedule a visit with one of our dentists as soon as possible. The team at our Austin, TX, dental office can diagnose root canal infections and perform treatment on the front teeth.

If your molars are affected, we may refer you to a trusted endodontist. An endodontist has specialized training in this area of dentistry. Afterwards, you can return to our friendly team for a crown personalized to your exact smile.

Request a consultation online at anytime or call our office at:

(512) 458-6222

Making Top-Quality Care Accessible With Fair Financing Options

Dr. Tasch and Dr. Meek prioritize your wellbeing — and won't settle for lower-quality care. By not accepting dental insurance, we are free to offer superior materials, techniques, and technology. Of course, we still believe in making treatment as affordable as possible. That's why we accept low-interest or even no-interest financing from reputable lenders like CareCredit®.

"As a patient for almost 12 years I  could not be happier with the service and people at 38th St. Dental!!" - Perry Fowler, 2023

Patient-Centered Treatment That Puts You at Ease Why Our Dentists Are Trusted in Austin, TX

38th Street Dental has been serving the oral health needs of the greater Austin area since 1997. Our private dental practice is led by David Tasch, DDS, and Mike Meek, DDS. When you visit our advanced dentistry practice, you can expect the individualized treatment and personalized care you and your family deserve.

"This office is the best..." Austin, TX, Appreciates Our Caring Team


Lydia Palace

Austin, TX


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This has been my dental office since 2011 and my experience on every visit has always been outstanding. Whether it is communicating with front desk staff, treatments by the dental hygienist or exams and dental work by Doctors Meek and Tasch, I am always treated professionally and with expertise. I have had fillings replaced, crowns made (both dentists do beautiful work) and bi-annual cleanings. This office is the best and I highly recommend them!

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Andrew Johnston

Austin, TX


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They’re the best. I have had such bad experiences with dentistry for a variety of reasons at other places. But at 38th St Dental Im always happy with how expert, respectful the team is. Above all, every single person is professional, and focused on high quality. I always leave happy and confident with a super treatment and being treated super to boot. Can’t believe I’m saying it but I’m not scared of the dentist anymore thanks to y’all!!

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Experience Natural-Looking Crown Results From Trusted Austin, TX, Dentists

Patients undergoing a root canal often worry about needing a crown, but not all do. Even if that is the case, we offer temporary and traditional crowns, so you can get back to chewing and smiling with confidence. When your custom crown is ready, it will blend in with your exact smile — much like these front crowns we placed for another patient.
before crowns
​Before Dental Crowns
After dental crowns
After Dental Crowns
If you're curious about more results, visit our gallery. You can also contact us for a root canal infection diagnosis and crown placement or call us at (512) 458-6222.

Making Dental Care As Easy as Possible

"This dental office exudes competency and efficiency from the moment you walk in the front door. My family and I have had nothing but good experiences here for several years. This is an update. Today I went in for a teeth cleaning and x-rays. Dana, the dental hygienist, did an excellent job and is a terrific addition to  an already good staff. She was efficient, professional and personable.
Dr. Meeks has helped me and my adult children throughout the years and we are all better off because of it. It is great to find a practitioner who gives good value for the money, treats but never over treats and does it in a manner which makes his patients feel comfortable. I highly recommend Dr. Meeks and his staff."
J G, 2023

Judith Found Help at 38th Street Dental And You Can Too

Many patients like Judith have avoided the dentist in fear of pain, stress, or judgment. When Judith made the decision to meet Dr. Tasch and the team at 38th Street Dental, she was treated with kindness and understanding. Our team is collaborative, making you a part of the treatment, from root canal therapy to crown placement. Experience the difference yourself at our Austin, TX, dentistry office.

The Root Canal Therapy Process

​We offer both diagnosis and care for front teeth affected by root canals at our Austin dental office. For back teeth, we can diagnose your infection, refer you to a trusted local endodontist, and see you again for your new crown.
Our team can provide the timely, thorough care you need to protect your oral health and prevent the need for extraction.
Our team can provide the timely, thorough care you need to protect your oral health and prevent the need for extraction.

Root Canal Exam

When it comes to root canal infections, you don't want to waste a second. Our dentists can help you diagnose the problem with X-rays and an exam. 

Numbing Solution

To numb your teeth and gums, we will provide local anesthesia. Drs. Meek and Tasch are dedicated to your comfort and can provide sedation to ensure you are comfortable and relaxed throughout the entire procedure.

Accessing the Root Canals

Once you are comfortable, your dentist will gently access the affected root canals so we can remove the bacteria and pulp within these chambers. The pulp consists of soft tissues, nerves, and blood vessels.

Sterilizing the Root Canals

After the infected tissues have been removed, Dr. Meek or Dr. Tasch will sterilize and carefully widen the root canals of the tooth with specialized dental instruments.

Filling the Root Canals

This process allows us to fill the roots with a flexible, rubber-like dental material called gutta-percha that will maintain the internal structure of the tooth.

Dental Crown Placement

To rebuild the outside of the tooth, you may need a customized dental crown. We will provide a temporary while you heal from your procedure and wait for your final restoration to be created. Once your crown is complete, we can securely place it during your second visit to our Austin practice. This final stage will restore your full oral function and aesthetics.

Access Patient Forms For a Quicker Check-in

Your time is valuable, especially when it comes to root canal treatment. You can prepare for your visit ahead of time by filling out our patient forms in advance.

Frequently Asked Questions
About Root Canal Therapy

Will others be able to tell I have a crown on a tooth after root canal therapy?

No, not unless you tell them. Our skilled dentists will shade-match your crown to ensure your restored tooth blends seamlessly with your smile. No one should be able to tell the difference. 

You said root canals don't hurt, but I am still nervous. Can you help?

Yes. Root canals are a truly misunderstood dental procedure. You will be thoroughly numbed before treatment begins; this injection should be the only uncomfortable part of treatment, and it will be over very quickly. We understand that visiting the dentist can cause fear and anxiety for some patients. Our Austin practice offers sedation options for those who need an extra level of care. Depending on your needs, we offer oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide sedation, better known as laughing gas. During your initial consultation, your dentist can help you determine which is best for you.

What do I do if my temporary crown falls out before my permanent crown is ready?

Keep the temporary crown if possible, and contact our Austin office immediately. Usually, our dentists can bond the temporary crown back in place until your permanent crown is ready. Do not try to reattach the temporary crown yourself.

How long does it take to recover from a root canal?

This will vary from person to person. Some people find relief with the root canal, and some will have tenderness for a few days. The numbness from the local anesthetic may take a few hours to wear off, which can cause some temporary difficulties with eating and speaking. Your mouth should not be especially painful, only sore or tender. If you experience any severe pain following your dental procedure, please contact us immediately so we can promptly address any concerns. 

Can't I take antibiotics to avoid root canal therapy?

No; once the infection reaches the root canals, antibiotics alone are not enough to clear the infection because they will not reach the inside of the tooth. While we want to perform the least invasive treatment possible, it is very important to completely clear the infection and prevent the possible loss of the tooth. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed in conjunction with root canal treatment to stop the spread of infection to surrounding tissue.

Have other questions?

"I highly recommend them." Hear from Actual Patients in Austin, TX


Elizabeth Adams

Austin, TX


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My entire family has been going to Dr. Tasch for years. I have never had anything but great experiences. He is a talented dentist, the staff is top notch, the equipment state of the art and the office is lovely!

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Tomas Rodriguez

Austin, TX


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Just a wonderful place. Dental care usually scares me but 38th Street Dental is a nice and friendly place with staff that works hard in being open and honest about dental care. They are upfront about the cost and try to work with you. I highly recommend them.

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The team at 38th Street Dental

38th Street Dental

38th Street Dental in Austin, TX, utilizes the latest proven technology to provide you personalized dental care. Dr. Meek and Dr. Tasch are members of local and national dental associations, including:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The Texas Dental Association
  • The Academy of General Dentistry
  • The Capital Area Dental Society

To schedule an appointment, call us at (512) 458-6222 or contact us online today!

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